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Researchers Report That a Natural Plant Derivative From the Amazon Rain Forest in a Rodent Model Inhibits the Deposition of Beta-amyloid Deposits Associated With Alzheimer's Disease Plaques.

WASHINGTON--(BW HealthWire)--April 16, 1999--

Researchers at the Experimental Biology 99 meeting today report PTI-00703(TM), a natural plant derivative from the Amazon rain forest woody vine Uncaria tomentosa (Cat's Claw), in rats inhibits the deposition of beta-amyloid protein deposits associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Further, researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, ProteoTech, Inc., a Redmond, WA-based biotechnology company, and Rexall Sundown, Boca Raton, FL, have completed in vitro studies that demonstrate PTI-00703(TM) alone, or in combination with certain other botanical ingredients, including Ginkgo biloba, rosemary, gotu kola, and bacopin, is a potent inhibitor of beta-amyloid protein fibril formation and growth. Researchers observed that PTI-00703(TM) and certain combination formulas:

-- Inhibit beta-amyloid protein fibril formation and growth.

-- Cause disruption and dissolution of pre-formed amyloid fibrils.

-- Inhibit interactions of beta-amyloid protein with

glycosaminoglycans.

In comparison to PTI-00703(TM) alone, researchers observed a synergistic effect by the combination of PTI-00703(TM) with certain botanical ingredients causing:

-- Enhanced inhibition of amyloid fibril growth.

-- Enhanced disruption of preformed beta-amyloid protein fibrils.

In a related development, ProteoTech and Rexall Sundown, today announced plans to conduct a clinical trial testing PTI-00703(TM) in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Pending finalization of the contract, the principal investigator for the multi-center trial is anticipated to be Jeffrey Kaye, M.D., Professor of Neurology, Oregon Health Sciences University, and Director, Aging & Alzheimer's Disease Center, Portland, Oregon. Additional sites will be named later this month.

"Our initial in vitro data suggests that PTI-00703(TM) in combination with certain other botanical ingredients may be better than PTI-00703(TM) alone as a preventative in halting the growth of new amyloid fibrils and in causing a disruption of preformed amyloid fibrils," said Alan Snow, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of Washington, and one of the co-founders of ProteoTech Inc. "This is an important finding because many believe that the brain abnormalities observed in Alzheimer's disease may, in fact, be an inevitability of aging," he said.

ProteoTech is a drug discovery company focused on therapeutics and diagnostics for human disease utilizing proteoglycan technologies. The "amyloid diseases" all involve the accumulation of specific proteoglycans believed to augment the amyloid process and inhibit the body's natural ability to remove unwanted "amyloid deposits." Proteoglycans are synthesized by virtually all cells of the body and play significant roles in the pathogenesis of a number of human diseases, including Alzheimer's, Down's syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, atherosclerosis, heart disease and AIDS. One of ProteoTech's human disease targets is Alzheimer's disease, one of a group of human diseases that are characterized by the deposition and persistence of an insoluble substance known as "amyloid." Press kit available at www.milestones.org/client_PressKitContent.htm.
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 16, 1999
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